A survey by Japan's education ministry has found more than 200 cases of bullying involving children who fled Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear disaster in March 2011. But the survey attributes fewer than 10 percent of these cases to the accident, prompting the education minister to admit the need for further studies.
The ministry surveyed more than 11,800 school-age evacuees through regional education boards in March.
The results show 204 cases of bullying occurred since April 2011. One pupil was told to go back to Fukushima soon after entering elementary school. Classmates also told a junior high school student to stay away because radiation is contagious. But the ministry's survey linked only 13 of the bullying cases to the nuclear accident.
In comparison, a recent NHK survey of more than 740 families showed that at least 54 children were bullied because they were "nuclear accident evacuees."
Education Minister Hirokazu Matsuno said on Tuesday that the ministry will consider additional studies to bring hidden cases to light. He said that if children were bullied because they were nuclear evacuees, they might have found it difficult to respond to the survey.
Professor Naoki Ogi of Hosei University said the failure of teachers to take the effect of the nuclear accident sufficiently into account has resulted in an extremely superficial appraisal of the problem.
Survey on Fukushima-linked bullying reveals hundreds more cases